Cadbury unveiled its latest Creme Egg spin-off last week, a 123g fondant-filled tablet.
Launching in December, the NPD will be Cadbury’s first sharing bar for Creme Egg in the UK. A similar, limited-edition 180g Dairy Milk bar filled with Creme Egg fondant hit the Australasian market in 2019, but didn’t reach UK supermarkets.
However, this isn’t the UK’s first Creme Egg chocolate bar. Dedicated Creme Egg fans will remember its countline spin-off Twisted, which launched to much fanfare in 2008, only to be withdrawn by Cadbury in 2012 following sales declines.
So, more than a decade after Twisted’s exit, is Creme Egg’s latest chocolate bar better positioned for success? Or will it be a flash in the pan?
Cadbury is a master of creating hype around its NPD – you only need to look at the recent success of Caramilk and Twirl limited editions to appreciate this – and Twisted’s launch in May 2008 was no exception.
Cadbury Twisted’s popularity waned over time
It was backed by a major TV advertising campaign, running across ITV and Channel 4. The campaign featured various vignettes of a Creme Egg being destroyed by household implements – such as a kitchen blender or hairdryer – only to mutate into an anthropomorphised Twisted bar, which shouted ‘Goo!” and shot fondant filling at its adversaries.
At the time of the launch, Cadbury said Twisted responded to shoppers’ desire to eat Creme Eggs all year round. Its initial sales figures backed this up, with values reportedly reaching £6.3m within its first eight weeks on the market.
However, excitement for Twisted waned over time, leading to Cadbury’s decision to withdraw the product four years later. Despite Cadbury’s market research, Twisted’s demise indicated that Creme Egg’s appeal was linked to its limited availability and association with festive occasions – which is probably why Cadbury still includes mini versions of it in Heroes selection boxes.
Unlike Twisted, the new sharing block will only be available over Easter. This has never hampered the core Creme Egg brand, which saw sales reach £60.4m in 2022, according to NIQ data [52 w/e 31 January 2022].
Cadbury Creme Egg brand backed by big campaign
The tablet also caters to a different eating occasion. While Creme Eggs and Twisted bars are both single-serve formats, the 123g bar taps the growing category trend for shareable treats suited to nights in, which will likely help the brand drive incremental sales with young adults.
Plus, it could help retailers kick-start the Easter season, as Cadbury points out. While shoppers might wait until closer to Easter to buy a Creme Egg, they might be more easily persuaded to try the familiar flavour in a bar format before the year is out.
What’s more, Cadbury will support its Creme Egg brand with its ‘Find the winning egg’ campaign for a third year in 2024. The campaign – which will be “bigger than ever”– will encourage shoppers to look out for a rare half-white chocolate, half-milk chocolate egg, which can be exchanged for “hundreds of cash prizes”.
With all this buzz around the brand, Creme Egg’s sharing bar is set to fly off shelves. After all, White Creme Egg was the “highest selling new product across the category” last Easter, according to Cadbury [NIQ Scantrack data, 19 w/e 8 April 2023].
The new format also gives Cadbury the opportunity to revive its famous ‘How do you eat yours?’ campaign for the next generation of chocolate eaters. Watch this space.